Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Written by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Nov 17, 2020

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Most of us have at least some milk or dairy products in our home.

If you aren’t a fan of milk, there are all sorts of other types of dairy products that we can enjoy like cottage cheese, yogurt, and sour cream.  The list is endless.

Dairy products can add a lot of variety to our diet as well as provide us with protein and are a great source of calcium.

So when you are eating some cottage cheese or drinking milk, can you share some with your dog?

The answer is, sometimes.

There are some dairy products that are OK for dogs in small amounts, but for the most part, it’s best not to give your dog any dairy.

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Is Milk or Dairy Unsafe For Dogs?

Some dogs will have no issues with digesting any milk or dairy products.

There are, however, some dogs that will get very bad stomach aches or gas when consuming any milk or dairy.

Milk itself is also high in calories (regular milk) and fat which can add unnecessary calories to a dog’s diet.

Whether you can give your dog any dairy or milk really depends on how your dog digests lactose which is found in milk and dairy products.

Lactose is a nutrient that is a combination of two different sugar molecules that have been linked together chemically.

In order for a dog to be able to properly break down the sugar, the pup needs to be able to produce lactase.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Some dogs lack the enzyme that allows them to produce lactase causing them indigestion or much worse when eating dairy.

A dog that is unable to digest lactose properly, like humans, is called lactose intolerant.

If you are interested in learning more about the food items that are safe and not so safe for our dogs, our ultimate safe food guide can give you some guidance.

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Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance In Dogs

A dog that is lactose intolerant, because they are unable to digest the lactose properly, can have severe intestinal upset.

If your dog has any of the following symptoms after eating dairy, your pup is probably lactose intolerant:

If your dog eats dairy or drinks milk and has any of the following conditions, please take your dog to the vet immediately.

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Some Dogs Are Allergic to Milk

While it’s very rare, a dog can be allergic to the protein content in milk.

If your dog has milk allergies, they will usually have the below symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Diarrhea

And, of course, take your dog to the vet if they have an allergic reaction to milk.

When Can Dogs Have Milk or Dairy?

If a dog isn’t lactose intolerant, a few tablespoons of cow or goat’s milk can be a nice treat for your pup sparingly.

A bowl or cup of milk would most likely cause gastric upset.

If you want to share some other dairy products that for a pup that is not lactose intolerant, cheese and eggs are always a safe choice.

Low fat cottage cheese can also be offered to your pup sparingly.

So, depending on the food, look for dairy products with the lowest lactose amounts.

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Other Food That Is Unsafe For Dogs

It’s best to keep the following common food items away from dogs as well as they are unsafe or even toxic for your pup:

Safe Food Choices For Dogs

The following food, fruits, and vegetables can safely be shared with your dogs in small amounts:

How Pet Insurance Can Help With Lactose Intolerance

If your dog drinks too much milk or has an adverse reaction to any care, there’s a good chance your pup will need emergency pet care.

You will need to get your dog treatment ASAP to make sure they get rid of the milk in his systems as well as the other symptoms that accompany the reaction.

It’s at times like these where it’s very helpful to have a pet insurance plan.

Most medical bills turn out to be way more than you anticipated which is when having pet insurance is a real benefit.

Of course, pet insurance can help pay for the bill for lactose intolerance or any medical condition.

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If you are enrolled in the top companies like Healthy PawsPetplan or even Embrace, these providers will pay anywhere from 80% to 90% of your medical bill,

and any further treatment that might be necessary.

These are one of the many scenarios when pet insurance is certainly worth the cost!

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Can You Share Milk or Dairy With Your Pup?

If your dog isn’t lactose intolerant and you want to share some dairy with your dog, always do so in small doses.

Eggs and cheese are relatively safe as well as some of the very low lactose dairy products.

A dog doesn’t really need milk.  It can just be an occasional treat if your dog can tolerate it.

And only a tablespoon at a time and not a whole bowl or cup.

If you want to share other dairy products occasionally with your pup, talk to your vet first to see if they are OK with it.

Other articles you may find helpful: 


Is Exotic Pet Insurance Necessary? 

The Best Pet Insurance By State 

What Is Pet Insurance?

Fun Facts, Dog FAQ, And Unsolicited Dog Advice

5 Training Commands to Save Your Dog’s Life

The Ultimate Guide to Safe Foods for Dogs

Dog Health Problems

Dog Breeds


Cat Health Problems

Cat Breeds


Finding safe alternative foods for your dogs to eat can be tricky. We have a long list of articles about every food you could possibly consider feeding your dog. One thing we recommend is that you consider looking into pet insurance for your pet and you can start by checking out the best rates for dog and puppy insurance


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